My other email address at work is inundated with all sorts of
unsolicited email, or “spam”. Unfortunately my company has not
implemented an anti-spam strategy. Fortunately, the bad guys
haven’t discovered this email address yet, but I suspect it is
only a matter of time.
My ISP (Mindspring) has implemented an anti-spam program which
will supposedly eliminate most, if not all spam. Unless AOL
puts together an anti-spam program, you’re probably going to
have to change your email address to get away from it. How about
Many of these unwanted pieces of email offer a way to remove
yourself from the list. I have been advised NOT to follow
this process, as all they do is use this to confirm
that the email address is still “good”.
The more “visible” you are on the Internet, the more likely you
are to get on one of these email address lists. Apparently some
developers have written “spiders” that crawl all over the Web
looking for email addresses and adding them to their database,
which they in-turn sell to just about anyone.
One thing you can do to avoid getting on a list (too late for
you now) is to not participate in surveys or contests on the
Web. Web site guestbooks (like mine) are often saved to a
private directory and are safe. Of course, participation in
discussion groups, chatrooms, etc. also gives you some
visibility, but I find the benefit of Orchid to outweigh the
annoyance of spam email.
I am hopeful the Internet community will develop a solution to
this problem. Most people on the Web and ISPs feel that spam
mail is unethical, to the point that some ISPs will terminate a
customer if they find they are spamming. With so many people on
the 'net, even a small percentage of rogues can cause a problem.
In the mean time, complaining to AOL may help… I’m sure they
are painfully aware of the problem. Their ability or desire to
do anything about it is another question.
Charlotte, NC (USA)